They fake it, but they can't make it

They fake it, but they can't make it
Brookes Business School was closed down for peddling fake degrees from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

The degree certificate in front her looked real enough.

It had been submitted by a man applying for an engineering job.

But its pristine condition set off alarm bells in human resource recruiter Annie Yap's mind.

The candidate's resume stated he had graduated 10 years earlier, yet the paper on which the certificate was printed had not aged.

"I knew something was wrong when I saw that it looked brand new. It was almost like he had collected it the day before.

"We all file our qualifications, but there is no way that it could remain in such a pristine condition after 10 long years," she said.

SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED

As it turns out, Ms Yap was right.

She contacted the university in India and the school revealed it had never had a graduate by the candidate's name.

In 2012 and 2013, 121 foreign employees were convicted and barred from working in Singapore after being found guilty of providing falsified documents.

In 2014, the number dropped as 36 foreign employees were successfully prosecuted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), an MOM spokesman told The New Paper.

MOM amended the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act in 2012 and made the falsification of academic qualifications to the Controller of Work Passes a standalone offence with stiffer penalties.

"Offenders may be fined up to $20,000 and/or imprisoned up to two years," the spokesman said.

Ms Yap said: "While the decrease is a good sign, that still means an average of three applicants are caught a month and that is still a troubling number."

Ms Yap said it is not always easy to spot a bogus degree.

She said some even come with seals that look like those of a real university.

"It makes it harder because with the naked eye, some of these counterfeits look identical to the real thing."

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